Azam Khan had become an eyesore for the BJP government which was harassing him with false cases, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Saturday over the veteran leader’s disqualification from the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
The decision to disqualify Mr Khan from the Legislative Assembly was announced on Friday a day after the Rampur MP-MLA court convicted him in a 2019 hate speech case and sentenced him to three years of imprisonment.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, in a tweet on Friday, welcomed Speaker Satish Mahana’s decision to annul Azam Khan’s membership to the Legislative Assembly.
“Whenever bye-elections are held on the vacant seats, the BJP’s lotus will bloom,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Akhilesh Yadav threw weight behind the senior party leader and claimed, “Azam Khan is on the target of the BJP government. Every day false cases are being registered against him and he is being harassed. Khan seems to be an eyesore for the BJP as he is a staunch rival of the communal forces, and is committed to democracy and socialism.” “He is a leader, who has struggled for the Constitution and secularism,” the Samajwadi Party chief said in a statement.
BJP leaders “used to get uneasy by his irrefutable logic and strong statements in the Assembly”. Hence a conspiracy was hatched against him, he alleged.
Mr Yadav claimed that the BJP was annoyed because Azam Khan built a high-end educational institution, the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, in Rampur, which will allow the youth to move forward.
The BJP wants to demolish the university, the SP president alleged.
During Kumbh 2013, Azam Khan as the then state urban development minister had provided ample facilities for the pilgrims which were praised by the saints and seers, Yadav said.
He claimed that even Harvard University had praised the successful organising of the Kumbh.
“The BJP government should remember that there is no place for enmity in politics. The ruling party and the opposition have an equal role in a democracy. He (Khan) has been MLA from Rampur 10 times and MP thrice. He also held ministerial posts. The BJP’s conspiracy to sideline him in politics will come down heavily on them,” he said in the statement.
The Representation of the People Act says that anyone sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more shall be disqualified “from the date of such conviction” and remain disqualified for another six years after serving time in jail.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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